woman after car accident on phone

Most people can agree that car accidents rank highly on every driver’s list of “series of unfortunate events.” Aside from ruining your day, a collision can make you a temporary pedestrian or, worse, put your vehicle out of commission for permanently.

If your insurance company declares your car totaled, you typically assume you don’t have any options but to move on. However, your options aren’t so limited. Let’s take a look at what you can do when your car is totaled.

What Does “Totaled” Even Mean?

Your car is declared totaled when the damage repair costs surpasses 65%-70% of the vehicle’s market value. However, this metric isn’t universal. There is some variety between insurance companies and the threshold can be decided upon on a state-by-state basis.

When car’s are declared a total loss, insurers calculate its “Actual Cash Value” (or ACV). When calculating your ACV, the insurer subtracts the vehicle’s depreciation value from the replacement value after its purchase. Several of the factors that influence your depreciation value are:

  • Age
  • Mileage
  • Features
  • Pre-Loss Condition

Even resale value of the car’s parts and metals may be factored in! When the cost of repairs and the scrap value are equal to or greater than the ACV of your car prior to the accident, then it is deemed “totaled.”

After Your Car Is Totaled, Do You Sell It Or Keep It?

frustrated insurance client on phone

“Selling” your totaled car typically means handing it over to your insurance company. They will offer you a payment equal in value to your car’s actual cash value and then take it off of your hands.

Now, that isn’t your only option when dealing with a totaled vehicle. If you feel as if your car is still worth more than the ACV the insurer assigned it, you are within your right to either negotiate for a higher payout or keep the car outright.

If you ever decide to keep a totaled vehicle, your insurance company will still cut you a check for the cash value of the car. They’ll subtract the deductible and whatever amount it would have fetched had it been scrapped for parts.

Before you decide to keep your totaled vehicle, figure out if it’s actually worth keeping. You have to keep in mind the safety issues associated with a car totaled in an accident.

If the damage is mostly cosmetic, then you may be able to repair it without emptying your pockets. That said, you should avoid sending yourself into even modest financial ruin to save a car (no matter how much it means to you).

Ultimately, the decision is yours, but the professionals would say your car is beyond repair and that should be a good enough reason.

The “invisible” damage that the average car owner can’t see (like cracks in the frame, for example) is the type of damage that would compromise the safety of your roadster even after it is fully repaired.

satisfied damagedcars client

DamagedCars: An Easy Solution

At DamagedCars, we specialize in taking less-than-perfect cars off clients’ hands. This includes totaled vehicles like yours!

Our team of customer service representatives can kick back a quote for your vehicle in 90 seconds or less. If you like what you see, they can connect you to a local partner, whom you can schedule a tow with within 24-48 hours.

When they retrieve the vehicle, you’ll get the quoted amount in your hand.

We pride ourselves on a quick, hassle-free process for you. Contact us today and let us take care of your totaled car.


Get paid for your totaled car!

If I Total A Leased Vehicle, Do I Still Have To Pay Off The Lease?

You are required to pay off the rest of the lease if you happen to total a vehicle still being leased.

If I Still Owe Money On A Totaled Car Will I Still Have To Pay It?

If you still owe money on your totaled car, your insurer will reimburse your lender equal to the actual case value of your vehicle. Afterwards, you’ll be required to pay off any balance remaining on the account. Gap insurance will cover the difference between the car’s worth and your remaining balance.